Archives for September 2015

7 Things to watch on Netflix to get you Excited for Halloween

It’s almost October, and my Halloween excitement is growing. I’ve started pumping myself up with movies and TV shows that either scare me or get me thinking about Halloween. Now that it’s practically October 1, I feel as though I can totally start going Halloweenie on you and not just Brian (who may be distressed that Halloween threw up all over our front room).

my Halloween skull collection
Do you like my Halloween skull collection?

Last weekend, one of my best friends was in town and we watched The Adams Family on Netflix to get some ideas flowing for Halloween decor, creepy snacks and an overall ambiance of spooky goodness (with a big heaping side of laughter). Other than pointing out my need for an organ and a tall creepy guy named Lurch to wield it and the distinct possibility that I could be Cousin It for Halloween, we didn’t really gather any useful information…but we did laugh like it was 1994. I forgot how funny it was!

In this vein, I thought it would be fun to share with you my top Halloween movies streaming on Netflix to watch next month to keep you in the Halloween mood all season long!

7 Things to watch on Netflix to get you excited for HalloweenA Nightmare on Elm Street

The original Wes Craven Nightmare, Freddie Krueger haunted my dreams from a young age when I used to watch horror movies with my best friend at her grandparents’ house. We’d order a Little Caesars pepperoni pizza and curl up on a couch, waiting for Freddy to get us…Did I mention her grandpa’s Freddy Krueger costume?

Pet Cemetery

What’s a Halloween movie list without a little Stephen King to rev you up? This creepy flick about animals that come back to life still terrifies me…but not as much as it scared the crap out of a girl I used to babysit. I babysat her and her toddler cousin, who happened to look just like Gage…And so  I may have been just twisted enough to teach him to tell her, “I played with Chrissy and I played with mommy. And now I want to play with you.” She was terrified (probably because I let her watch Pet Cemetery in the first place).

The Nightmare Before Christmas

You guys know how I feel about this movie. I made a Sally Halloween costume, I’ve painted my nails to match Sally Skellington’s dress…it’s kind of an obsession. We watch this two to three times a year – Halloween, Christmas, and somewhere in the middle when we’re missing the Halloween Christmas joy.

The Walking Dead

If you’ve never seen The Walking Dead, my recommendation is to watch the first season DEFINITELY, and possibly the second season…and then just pretend the rest of the show never happened. It’s better that way. I promise.

Teeth

If you want to watch something truly horrifyingly bad, might I suggest Teeth. This movie is about a vagina with teeth. That’s all I really need to say. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, you’re probably better off.

Saw

Remember when I wrote an apology to Cary Elwes? I still love him, even in this twisted movie. After watching this in college, I left my friend’s apartment and turned every light on and opened every closet door. Just in case.

Scream

I figured it would be best to honor Wes Craven by bringing it back around to him. Less scary, and more aware of its own genre, this movie is ripe with clever lines and fun plot twists. In high school,  this was a super quotable flick that we watched over and over.

If none of these flicks tickle your interest, you can always watch one of my favorite bad horror movies Playing on Netflix like Big Ass Spider or The Leprechaun.

What gets you excited for Halloween? Do you have any go-to movies or TV shows to get you in the mood?

I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team. While I wasn’t paid to write nice things about Netflix, I did receive a gift subscription and a device on which to watch my favorite shows.

Netflix Stream Team

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

4 Super Simple Laundry Hacks to Keep Your Clothes Clean and Fresh

You guys know how much I hate laundry. Even when we lived in an apartment, with a washer and dryer setup right outside our bedroom door, it wasn’t on my list of things I loved to do.

Luckily, I’ve been working with some really awesome brands that are simplifying laundry for me so I can properly respond to the stains and spills that happen around here on a daily basis.

I destroyed this poor shirt while cooking.

I destroyed this poor shirt while cooking.

I’ve partnered with some of these brands and bloggers to share a few super easy laundry hacks, plus a chance to win a Little Laundry Lifehacks Giveaway (including a $150 Walmart gift card.)

4 Super Easy Laundry Hacks (1)

Four Fabulous Laundry Hacks

1. Sick of ironing? Put your iron away and use Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus instead. Just spray, smooth and tug and watch those wrinkles disappear. I’m a big fan of this method, because it’s hard enough for me to remember to remove laundry from the dryer, let alone iron it right away! Click here to download a coupon.

DWR to the rescue

  1. Have a stain while you’re out and about? Use the Dreft Stain Stick to remove the stain ASAP. You know how I like to spill things on myself, especially food things. Mostly food things that leave stains. I always have a stain stick on me – at home, at work, and in my purse or backpack.Click here to download a coupon.

Dreft Laundry Hack

  1. Keep forgetting those wet towels in the wash? Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator to the rescue. Add some to your next load of laundry, and #SinktheStink. I’m so glad there are products like this to help me when I’m forgetful. Seriously, I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve had to rewash stuff because we left it in the washer a little too long. Click here to download a coupon.
the-key-to-fresh-laundry

Image courtesy of Kids Activities Blog.

 

  1. Trying to get your clothes as soft as possible – and don’t have an HE washer? Try the Downy Ball. As long as I can remember, we’ve had a dispenser for the fabric softener, but if you don’t, this could make it way easier. Click here to download a coupon.

Downy Ball laundry hack

Enter to Win

Complete the form below to enter to win a Laundry Lifehack prize pack – full of product from Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, Febreze In-Wash Odor Eliminator, Dreft Home and Downy Ball. Plus a $150 Walmart Gift Card.

What laundry tips do you have for me? What makes it easier for you to get laundry done in your home?

No one paid me any dollars to say nice things about these products, though I have received free samples to provide my opinion and share it on social media.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Ten Rules to Enjoy Six Flags (or Any Theme Park, Really) and Not Leave Angry

With fall quickly approaching, I’ve found myself dreaming of a trip up to Six Flags for Fright Fest. Okay, I’m actually dreaming of a weekend getaway to Walt Disney World, but Brian did that 3 years ago, and he isn’t quite ready to go back yet…we’re working on that.

I don’t know if I can rock the coasters right now because of my back problem, so I’m not sure if we’ll head up there this season or not, but a girl can dream. I love wandering around a theme park when the weather is cool, and you can wear yoga pants and a hoodie at night while you ride your favorite coasters. You don’t have to make up excuses not to go on the water rides, and no one is sweating their balls off.

When I do make my way to Six Flags, I always try to follow these very important rules to make the most of my experience. It’s a way to sort of roll with the punches that the underpaid cast members are throwing.10 Rules to Making the Most of a Theme Park Visit1. Buy your tickets in advance. Find the cheapest coupon code you can. Seriously. That shit is expensive, and they usually have cheap codes hidden among the interwebs. Or on cans of pop. Plus tickets are usually less costly online. At Six Flags, we’ve paid as little as $37 each for 3 people with tax, surcharges, and parking.

  1. Don’t look at the food or the prices from the vendors. You know the food is crap, and the prices are likely to be exorbitant. There is an exception to this, and that’s at Disney World, with their fancy restaurants and amazing food options. Pack a lunch, head to a local restaurant, stop at your fave fast food chain…

  2. Find out about money-saving promotional stuff. If you fail to follow rule number 2, use your Discover card (or whatever card they’re partnered with) and save 5% every time. That shit can add up.

  3. Tap water is free. Utilize that, people. Brita filtered water bottle are a bomb way to make that happen.

  4. Know the best rides. If you make it a point to get on your favorite rides first, you’ll be able to cheer yourself up and ride them again later after you’ve made some bad choices by standing in line for a crappy ride that breaks down all the time. Raging Bull is still the best roller coaster at Six Flags Great America. Ride it first. The Whizzer is a classic, and so fun at night.

  5. Understand the schedule. Don’t plan to get there at exactly opening or you’ll sit in long-ass lines to get into the parking lot. Instead, aim for 30 minutes before the park opens or a couple hours afterward. Leave 30-45 minutes before the stated closing time. You’ll be at the bar with a cocktail in your hand while the rest of those bozos are still sitting in the parking lot. If you’re rocking out at Fright Fest…Monsters don’t come out until 4 or 5. Plan accordingly.

  6. Don’t overdo the Dramamine. If you get motion sick or vertigo after you’ve already taken the maximum dosage of the super powerful non-drowsy meclizine…sit the next coaster out. Trust me on this one. I took 3 pills in 12 hours (max recommended is 2 in 24 hours), and I was out of it for 3 days. Loopy, dizzy, and sleepy. I felt like I was drunk. For three days. And not the good kind of drunk.

  7. Make sure you know your way around. Don’t bother asking anyone who works at the park where stuff is. They have no clue. Use the map.

  8. Try to avoid asking for help in any matters. You know what, you may as well just not ask the Six Flags team for any assistance.* We once waited for 45 minutes for lockers that didn’t lock, and still no one came to help us.

Brian and Chrissy at Six Flags Great America Fright Fest

  1. Make it yours. Go with people you like, so that your two star experience feels like a five star experience, because friends.

*I don’t actually think everyone who works at a theme park is crappy at their jobs. I just had a few bad experiences that made me whiny
.

Which theme parks have you been to? What tips would you have for maximizing your trip to Six Flags or another park? 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Listening to Your Conversations and Writing Down Your Words

One of my favorite pastimes is people watching. It began as a simple pleasure.

Dining alone at a restaurant allowed me to play games in which I guessed everything about you, from your relationship status to the reason you ordered the salad or the steak. I’d watch carefully as you tucked that strand of hair behind your ear 15 times or as you hugged your girlfriend, wife, mother, child goodbye at the door. I’d create a story about you in my head that made sense. Sometimes it was a funny story, and sometimes it was sad. But it always felt real.

Sometimes, I’d pen a few words in a notebook as I watched you. Write your story down, to remember it. To change it and tell it later. Maybe you’d be the hero in my future fiction best seller. Or the villain in a screenplay I’ll write one day.

And then something changed. I started carrying this mini computer everywhere. I got lost in Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Blogging. E-mails. Everything but what truly surrounded me. Scrolling through an endless stream of what people I “know” are up to. What they’re eating. Where they’re vacationing. When they go to work. How they go to work. I discovered I could people watch without watching anyone. I could see their lives unfold without being anywhere near them. I didn’t need to make up a story, because it was all right there on my screen.

You were forgotten.

Instead of watching you argue with the cashier at LOFT about a coupon, I was staring down at my phone in a trance. Watching them talk about their most recent Amazon purchase or what their kids ate for breakfast. Laughing about a meme that everyone was sharing.

Once in a while, I’m reminded of you. Your screaming is so loud, I’m drawn back into the real world. I see you. I hear you. And everything you say is absolute gold. And now, with this tiny computer, I can capture it. Whether I’m recording you on Snapchat like an asshole (I’m the asshole, not you) or sending myself your words for posterity in an email, I’m there. Listening to everything you say. I promise.

I'm Listening to Your Words

In case you don’t believe me, here are some of my favorite things you’ve said.

Middle Schoolers on an air plane trip to Washington DC

“I feel bad for all these people.”

To be fair, we were warned that it was a full plane and the back half of the plane was going to fill up with tweens.

“You have to pay $8 for Facebook!?”

Technically, it’s $8 for the whole Internet, but you know…tomato, tomahto.

“I’m attracted to a 7th grader.”

I’m assuming you’re in 8th grade, and it’s probably not going to work out for you, my friend.

“Wow, they’re really pooping those things [luggage at baggage claim] out.”

You’re not wrong, my young friend. You’re not wrong.

In case the Internet isn't creepy enough, whatever you say in public has become fair game. Click To Tweet

Lady on the train without a ticket

“My sister died! My sister died! They didn’t even let me see her! You know who my grandfather was? Al Capone. Could you hold this [coffee]?”

I feel really sorry for you, lady, even though you’re lying…at least about Al Capone. But I also feel sorry for the women to whom you passed your coffee cup. We shared a sympathetic look as she set your coffee cup on the floor while you went to take a crap in the train bathroom.

Business guys at a hot dog joint

“What is she Croatian? Is she Romanian? I know she’s not Greek, ’cause I insulted the Greeks in a meeting and she didn’t flinch.”

Oh boy, gentleman. Your deep Chicago accents are making this way more entertaining than it should be.

“He dead?”

You sound so flip. At least train lady was obviously distressed.

“Just like that guy who got his arm stuck in a boulder and had to cut it off.”

You guys are a train wreck. Please don’t leave. I want to listen to you for hours.

You left.

What juicy conversations have you overheard in your world? What are your favorite people-watching places?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Jalapeno Cheetos Mozzarella Sticks – Because Everyone Should Try Something Crazy at Least Once

Sometimes, Brian sends me an animated gif of some magic foodie creation he wishes me to make a reality.  Many times, I just laugh it off, and tell him he has two hands so he can make that shit himself (for the last time, BRIAN, I am not making a fucking turducken). But sometimes, like that one time I made an ice cream sandwich cake, I realize he’s discovered gold, and I should go help haul that shit home.

Other times, I look at the project potential and think, I like all those things. That gif is a magical creation sent to the Internet by God, himself. I will make that delicious feast. Such as what happened with Brian’s ice cream cake a few years ago. It’s also what happened when he sent me a gif featuring Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mozzarella Sticks. Of course, I wasn’t in the mood for the fiery red poops that go along with Flamin’ Hots (come on, you know that happens…) when I decided to surprise Brian with homemade mozz sticks. So I opted for the less flamin’, still kickin’ Cheddar Jalapeno Crunchy Cheetos. Second only to Puffs, these delicious beasts are amazing solo…and pretty damn delish when paired with more cheese.

Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos add just a hint of kick and added flavor to homemade mozzarella sticks

Cheetos mozzarella sticks ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed crunchy Cheetos (any flavor)
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 sticks of string cheese, cut in half
  • 1 small bowl of flour
  • frying oil

Prep and cooking process

Step 1: Set out your breading station. You’ll coat the sticks with flour first, then egg, and finally the Cheetos.

Set out your breading station. You'll coat the sticks with flour first, then egg, and finally the Cheetos.

Step 2: Begin by coating a stick with flour. Make sure to cover the entire cheese stick.

Begin by coating a stick with flour. Make sure to cover the entire cheese stick.

Step 3: Cover the floured stick with egg, ensuring you’ve completely coated the flour with egg.

Cover the floured stick with egg, ensuring you've completely coated the flour with egg.

Step 4: Quickly toss the egged cheese stick in the crushed Cheetos, making sure to cover every open space so the cheese doesn’t fall out (if it does, it’ll still taste pretty good though…let’s be honest here – you’ve seen my photo).

[There was no way in hell I was taking a photo after my fingers were all eggy and Cheeto-y.]

Step 5: Freeze for several hours. I made them in the morning, put them on a pan (Oh – and before you get started, make sure your pan will fit in your freezer. The pan fit in my freezer, but not Mom’s which is where we ultimately cooked these bad boys up-mostly so we didn’t eat 8 stick of cheese each), and froze them for about 8 hours.

Freeze cheese sticks for several hours.

Step 6: Heat a pan 1/3 or 1/2 filled with frying oil or start your deep fryer. We’re not super fancy, so we just opted for a pan with oil. Mama Bear has specialty frying oil, though, so bonus!
Cook the Cheetos Mozz Sticks in a deep pan filled 1/3 or 1/2 way with hot oil. Cook until the sticks are floating - and try to get them out before the cheese falls out.

Step 7: Cook until the sticks are floating – and try to get them out before the cheese falls out (something we failed to manage because we were fighting over who would get to take them out of the pan. Ultimately, I won that battle, just a minute or two too late).

Step 8: Place on wax paper to soak up the grease, because we learned the hard way the cheese will stick to paper towels.

Place on wax paper to soak up the grease, because we learned the hard way the cheese will stick to paper towels.

Overall review of Cheetos Mozzarella Sticks

After watching an animated gif about turning Cheetos into Mozzarella sticks, I was sold. And made my own batch.

Guys, let me tell you, this is not for the weak-hearted. It wasn’t easy, and I probably won’t do it again. After the fourth or fifth stick, the Cheetos all started gluing themselves to each other with the egg, while the egg refused to stick to the cheese stick and I had one hell of a time trying to get the Cheetos bread crumbs wrapped around the stick. Then, there was the whole, cooking to the right temperature and not sticking cheese to paper towels part of serving that shit…it was a little rough around the edges. But you know, if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a go. It was still pretty tasty, although the over-powering frying oil seemed to overtake the delicious Cheetos flavor. If I were feeling up to the challenge again, I think I might try baking them.

What crazy recipes have you tried lately? Which ones do you want to try? Would you eat these tasty beasts?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Toilet Paper Mind Fuck

There’s  a weird social experiment happening in the ladies’ room at the office. I know what you’re  probably thinking right now.

Chrissy, you sure talk about the bathroom at work a lot these days.

I know, guys. I know. But that’s where I do some of my best thinking. And you have to admit, the April Fool’s Nic Pic prank was pretty hysterical…and everyone needs solid tips for keeping a clean ladies room. Also, who doesn’t love getting paid to poop?

Back to the social experiment at hand. There have always been a few problems in the ladies room on my floor, but for some reason, the toilet paper situation has been escalated by the maintenance staff.

There's a social experiment happening at my office, and they're messing with the toilet paper.

The original toilet paper problem

The building has decent toilet paper, it’s not Charmin or anything, but it is a little more plush than your average run-of-the-mill cheap TP. At first, the biggest problem was the sheer amount of toilet paper that was accumulating on the floor and in the toilets. The maintenance crew heads into the bathroom on my floor twice a day. During their midday sweep, they would replace all toilet paper rolls with fresh, full-size rolls, and place the older, half rolls on top of the TP holder. You can see the problem with this already, can’t you?

No one wanted to use the loose roll of toilet paper, because that shit was always falling on the floor, getting picked up, and put back in its place of honor. You couldn’t vouch for the cleanliness of the loose TP rolls. So people used up the other stuff, and the loose canons rolled around the floor or sat above their cleaner, safer counterparts.

I didn't have any pictures of two good TP rolls with the "spare roll" but everyone knows this roll is the dangerous one.

I didn’t have any pictures of two good TP rolls with the “spare roll” but everyone knows this roll is the dangerous one.

The new toilet paper social experiment

Well, sometime in the last few weeks, the staff has started doing something a little rash. They’ve replaced half of the TP rolls with the worst toilet paper ever. It’s bigger than the normal toilet paper, thinner, and scratchier.

Not all toilet paper is created equally.

Not all toilet paper is created equally.

I don’t want to wipe my ass with cheap tissue paper, you guys, and you know that’s what that “big” roll of  TP is. No one wants that.

The real kicker is that they’re absolutely doing it on purpose. It’s not even like they’re discouraging office pooping. They’re discouraging wasteful TP usage. No longer do you see squandered rolls of toilet paper scattered on the floor between stalls. Not one square of the good TP is wasted in the office bathroom. By the end of the day, though, it’s scratch paper or bust for my colleagues and me.

When the good toilet paper runs out, you may want to avoid pooping at the office.

When the good toilet paper runs out, you may want to avoid pooping at the office.

After several weeks of this nonsense, I’m of the firm belief that someone is documenting how the residents of our office are handling this shenanigans. The answer? Not well. I mean, if they were concerned before about overuse and crap on the floor, they should be even more concerned now. I’ve seen more than my fair share of over-stuffed toilets (no picture because I care about your eyes). And let’s be completely honest here. Bitches are going to find other things to throw on the floor anyways.

Toilet seat covers do not belong on the floor.

Toilet seat covers do not belong on the floor.

You should never have to wipe your butt with crappy, scratchy TP. Click To Tweet

Hopefully, this situation resolves itself and the shitty toilet paper is removed from the bathroom. Of course, they may be getting us acclimated to the new paper before they run out of the decent stuff.

What weird social experiments do you notice happening in your office? What are your thoughts on the varying degrees of toilet paper quality?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!